Author Topic: Can I rent or buy a bike?  (Read 3806 times)

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Offline susanb

Can I rent or buy a bike?
« on: January 18, 2015, 01:22:20 pm »
Hi, I'm new here.  Going on my first cycling trip, a beginner's trip.   My question:  My bike is only worth about $400 new.  It doesn't seem to make sense to pay for shipping NY to Florida when it close to exceeds the value of the bike.  Also, all the hassle.  Are there other options?  Do people rent?  Or just buy a bike close to the cost of shipping and donate it to the club or the bike shop when I leave?

Also, how many days prior to the first day of the trip is it wise to be at your departure point?

Thanks for any advice anyone can throw out there.  Thank you
Susan

Offline amcneily

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 09:45:59 pm »
Perhaps find a bicycle shop selling used bicycles.. Or better yet locate a local bicycle club which likely have folks who have multiple bikes and they might let you borrow it or rent at reasonable rate. They would also have good advice about local tripping.


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Offline John Nelson

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 12:55:23 am »
It depends on how you plan to tour.

If you're doing fully-loaded touring using panniers with at least an average amount of gear, it will be difficult to find a suitable bike where you are going. And it might cost enough that you won't want to simply leave it behind when you go home. So, despite the hassle, you might want to take your own.

If you're doing light-weight touring with minimal gear, then you might be able to find a $100 WalMart bike that will do.

If you plan to use a trailer, you could take the trailer with you and attach it to a rental bike.

You didn't say how long your trip is. If it's only a week, then you can probably get by without a perfect bike fit. But if it's longer than a week, then using a bike you have a lot of experience with and know is comfortable for you is worth a lot.

The questions you're asking have bugged many of us before, and after wrestling with the options, most of us end up taking our own bikes with us.

If you are bringing your bike, I find arriving at your departure point about 90 minutes before your tour begins is plenty. If you are not bringing your bike, it would probably be wise to arrange the purchase or rental before you go so it will be all ready for you when you arrive. I'm not sure why you would want to arrive days early unless you want to tour around the departure city.

You didn't ask for this advice, but here goes. I think it would be wise to do your first trip starting and ending from home. That eliminates all the rest of your questions.

Offline susanb

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 01:33:51 am »
Thank you so much for the responses.  I'm number one on the wait list for Florida Gulf Coast, which is camping, van supported, in March,  and I'm booked for North Carolina, the beginner's inn-to-inn in May.  I was planning on doing one, not both.

I think that's very good advice, do the first trip from home, make it as simple as possible.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, lol.  Apparently there's more to do on these trips than just riding my bike.   :)

Offline staehpj1

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 06:23:52 am »
Check you bike as baggage on Southwest if they fly where you are going and it will be $75 each way.    Amtrak is reasonable as well.

Food for thought...
$400 is a pretty low end bike.  It occurs to me that if you can afford a van supported tour you can probably afford a nicer bike.  You might consider treating yourself to one.  I am not one to spend a great deal on my bikes, but the difference between a $400 bike and a $700-1000 one can be a pretty big difference.

What ever you do relax, don't stress, and enjoy your tour.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 10:56:31 am »
It doesn't seem to make sense to pay for shipping NY to Florida when it close to exceeds the value of the bike.

Another shipping option is bikeflights.com

The philanthropy issue aside, buying a bike and donating after the tour seems to make little economic sense.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 11:38:09 am »
I think that's very good advice, do the first trip from home, make it as simple as possible.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, lol.  Apparently there's more to do on these trips than just riding my bike.   :)

I think that the need for worry or a warm up trip around home are greatly reduced since you are considering a supported trip, especially if it is the inn to inn one, or if you are an experienced camper.  Really not so much to worry about other than to be sure you have at least reasonable general fitness and are somewhat acclimated to fairly long hours in the saddle.

Offline susanb

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 11:50:04 am »
Check you bike as baggage on Southwest if they fly where you are going and it will be $75 each way.    Amtrak is reasonable as well.

Food for thought...
$400 is a pretty low end bike.  It occurs to me that if you can afford a van supported tour you can probably afford a nicer bike.  You might consider treating yourself to one.  I am not one to spend a great deal on my bikes, but the difference between a $400 bike and a $700-1000 one can be a pretty big difference.

What ever you do relax, don't stress, and enjoy your tour.

Thank you so, so much, good advice, on all ends.  I'll look into checking the bike on the flights.  I'm also considering driving to my departures, for this first time, anyway.  And, yes, it's an inexpensive bike, and I can afford a better one, I just hate to let it go, I'm used to it, attached to it, I guess.  I have a friend who tells me the same, the difference between $400 and $700 makes a huge difference in the ride, I get that.   

I think once I get past the logistics I'm going to love this.  Thank you again.

Offline susanb

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 11:53:47 am »
It doesn't seem to make sense to pay for shipping NY to Florida when it close to exceeds the value of the bike.

Another shipping option is bikeflights.com

The philanthropy issue aside, buying a bike and donating after the tour seems to make little economic sense.

It makes no sense at all, you're right.  That's why I'm asking.  I never did this before.  I'm all over the place, trying to figure out my options.

Offline susanb

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 12:04:34 pm »
I think that's very good advice, do the first trip from home, make it as simple as possible.  I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, lol.  Apparently there's more to do on these trips than just riding my bike.   :)

I think that the need for worry or a warm up trip around home are greatly reduced since you are considering a supported trip, especially if it is the inn to inn one, or if you are an experienced camper.  Really not so much to worry about other than to be sure you have at least reasonable general fitness and are somewhat acclimated to fairly long hours in the saddle.

Thank you, I needed to hear that.   My first trip, I'm fairly sure I can handle the riding, I mean I've done the NYC bike tour in a couple of hours, 35 miles, so I'm fairly sure the mileage should be okay, a beginner's trip, esp. if stretched out over a whole day. And I've camped on hiking trips, although on those we had porters doing a lot, setting up.  But, still, the worry is always, there, I don't know what I'm getting into until I get there.  But I have a good attitude and I'm thinking this kind of sightseeing, on my bike, has to be amazing fun.

Offline susanb

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 12:26:19 pm »
I just looked up special baggage, and apparently a lot of the airlines let you take the bike with you on the plane.  At leas Delta and United for starters, and Southwest as mentioned above.  That made me vaguely remember doing that a million years ago, and seeing people at airports with their bikes.  I just didn't think of it since all the new restrictions on air travel.  But that's absolutely the way to go for me.  I was getting complicated because I thought I had to box up my bike and ship it to a local bike shop, get there, then get the bike back together.  This works.  Just have to get me and the bike from the airport to departure point, lol.

Thank you, All!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 12:39:35 pm »
Do check prices for checking a bike before you buy a ticket.   Prices vary widely with the different airlines.

Offline Lingen

Re: Can I rent or buy a bike?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 02:31:50 pm »
  You'll want to check the under the airline's special baggage fees...can usually find bicycles under sporting goods.  I've checked many airlines and I know that JetBlue has some of the lowest fees I've seen at $50/bike.  Bikes definitely have to be partially disassembled and require some form of packing though.  You still have all of the rules to follow on box size and weight, etc.  You used to be able to stuff the bike box with all your gear, helmet, tools, sleeping bags up to 99 lbs. but now it's stated that the bike box is for only the bike otherwise, other fees will be charged. 

 The bicycle disassembly and reassembly process is my least favorite part every tour and the next least favorite is dragging that box around from the car and throughout the airport.  I leave in a couple weeks for a Virginia to Florida tour and I'm dreading that packing process.  The cost to UPS or FedEx or ship from bike shop to bike shop are more than I want to pay though.